It’s not often I talk about movies or television but when the subject matter is about one of the greatest golfers of all time it has to be explored.
It was with great trepidation that I sat down last night to watch the 2014 release about the Spanish golfer Severiano Ballesteros. Whenever a biopic/life story of a great sportsman is released there is a worry that it will be cheesy and forced and maybe slightly embarrassing for the person in question. I was particularly worried about this one as “Seve” was such an inspirational character and a leader for European golf and the European Tour.
I needn’t have worried as the movie is expertly handled by director John-Paul Davidson. The movie takes the form of actual footage from Ballesteros career mixed with scenes from his childhood where he is played wonderfully by José Luis Gutiérrez.
Growing up in the small fishing village of Pedrena, young Seve was obsessed with the game and learned his craft with a three iron and some pebbles on local beaches. His creativity and shot making were legendary in his hay day and throughout the movie we are treated to images of Gutiérrez hitting shots in and out of sand dunes cut with images of Seve’s 3 Open Championships and 2 Masters wins. The movie deals with his sporting life and is not a tell-all documentary. There is some footage where he is not in good health and receiving treatment for a brain tumour but his spirits always remained high and his positivity shines through. With his charisma, good looks and a smile that could light up a room it is easy to appreciate why Seve had so many female fans in the galleries!
If you have just a passing interest in golf the movie is worth watching as it tells the story of a young boy who would not take No for an answer and whose determination and work ethic saw him rise to the top of the World Golf Rankings. If you are a young (or old!) golfer however, it is a must see for pure short game wizardry and putting. You will also get many lessons in body language, composure and will to win.
Mark’s Verdict: Not quite as good as “Senna” but as sports biopics go, this is well worth a watch.7/10
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